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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol June 28, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

'Play to Win': With Trump Set to Announce Extremist Supreme Court Pick, Mounting Pressure on Schumer to Unite Democrats

"If we have any hope of protecting Roe v. Wade, gay marriage, voting rights, and civil rights, we need Democrats to be united against Trump's sure-to-be extremist pick."

Jake Johnson

As President Donald Trump gears up to announce which of the pre-selected right-wing extremists he has chosen to become America's next Supreme Court justice, a coalition of advocacy groups is holding a rally outside of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) Manhattan office Monday night demanding that he do everything in his power to unite the Democratic caucus against Trump's nominee.

"As minority leader, it is literally his job to lead the Democratic caucus. This is why New York Indivisibles are holding events calling on him to 'whip the vote.'"
—Ezra Levin, Indivisible

"If we have any hope of protecting Roe v. Wade, gay marriage, voting rights, and civil rights, we need Democrats to be united against Trump's sure-to-be extremist pick," Liat Olenick, co-president of Indivisible Nation BK, said in a statement. "Sen. Schumer is our senator and the minority leader, and today we're calling on him to lead."

Democrats "must play to win," added Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Commitee (PCCC). "There's no such thing as keeping powder dry or living to fight another day if Trump proposes to fill the fifth-and-deciding Supreme Court seat with an extremist who will overturn Roe, healthcare for millions, and worker protections."

Politico reported Monday afternoon that Trump has already made his selection, and he is scheduled to make this pick official in a televised address at 9pm ET.

Because Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is unlikely to vote as he receives treatment for brain cancer, Trump's nominee will need every Republican vote to be confirmed by the Senate—assuming that every Democrat votes no.

"If Senate Democratic leadership can keep their caucus unified, we bring full pressure to bare on Republicans like Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) in their home states," Green observed.

Highlighting the fact that three Democrats—Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), and Joe Manchin (W.Va.)—voted for the Trump-nominated Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Indivisible co-executive director Ezra Levin argued in a series of tweets on Monday that it is Schumer's responsibility to get these votes back and ensure that there are no other defections. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) also indicated in an interview on Sunday that he's "open" to voting for Trump's upcoming pick.

"As minority leader, it is literally his job to lead the Democratic caucus," Levin notes. "This is why New York Indivisibles are holding events calling on him to 'whip the vote.'"

"Our goal is really to push Sen. Schumer to unite his caucus and oppose Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court," Olenick of Indivisible Nation BK concluded in an interview with The Hill. "That's part of his role as the minority leader and we feel like there's so much at stake with this nomination. This is an instance where we need a united Democratic front."


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